Benji Lovitt
Benji Lovitt
Because the Middle East is Funny

Dear Sadie, Pesach Advice Column

Editor’s Note: The holidays can be a stressful time. With the pressures of preparation and family, anyone can be overwhelmed. Fortunately, Sadie has been at the service of her loyal readers for so many years, hearing them out and giving her heartfelt advice, as only Sadie can. Here are some of her most popular responses from over the years. Chag sameach to all.

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Dear Sadie,

I am in pain. Everybody knows me, yet nobody sees me. Year after year, they sing my name and open the door for me. Not for dinner, not for dessert, not for a measly Hillel sandwich…but for a little cup of wine. I just want to scream, “Why am I only welcome at 10 p.m. when I know you’re starting at 7:30?!”

I know they are lying to me, I saw their photos on Instagram.  They walk right by me as if I don’t exist.

Their song taunts me, “Elijah the prophet, Elijah the Tishbite, Elijah the Giladite…”, WHAT ABOUT ELIJAH THE HUMAN BEING?! I HAVE FEELINGS!!!!!

They have the gall to say: “Bim’herah b’yameinu, yavo eleinu, may he soon in our days come to us.”

Hel-LOOOOOOO!!! I’m heeeeere!!!! I’ve been waiting by the door since Tuesday.

They go to bed happy and whole. Meanwhile, I’m down the street at McCracken’s, drinking cheap whiskey with the Easter Bunny and his stale eggs.

Can you help me?

Elijah the Prophet
Borough Park, Brooklyn

Dear Elijah,

Your experiences must be tremendously difficult. Have you tried vocalizing your concerns? Keeping these frustrations inside you for thousands of years has only served to upset you and exacerbate the understandable pain. I would approach the Jews long before Pesach and express your feelings in an open and heartfelt way. And if that doesn’t work, there’s an entry-level tooth fairy position open in Topeka.



Dear Sadie,

I am livid! I am sick of being called low-class and disgusting, made fun of by the liberal elite. Four times they pour me, four times they drink me, four times they BLESS ME…yet they mock me for my sugary taste. They shove me in the back of the closet for the whole year, and when they finally bring me out, I take a backseat to a box of matzah. Matzah?! Are you *#&$ing kidding me? I at least give you a nice buzz. Half a piece of that dry-wall substitute and you’re constipated for a week. I didn’t ask to be a cultural ambassador. Even wine-in-a-box is held in higher esteem.

I had dreams. I had aspirations. I wanted to be a port, until my parents divorced and my father ran off with a Merlot.

And they judge me all the time. Who the hell are they to judge me? I see them shopping at Marshall’s, with their fake Prada bags from Chinatown. They present themselves as kosher, upstanding Jews, while little Reuven is on Facebook Live, eating Oreos with his goyish friends under the bleachers.

How can I deal with this rage?

Manny Shevitz
Pico-Robertson Los Angeles

Dear Manny,

I empathize with your anger. We have all throughout our lives judged ourselves not by who we are, but what we could have been. I invite you to forgive your parents and put the past in the past. So many people around the world hold you in high esteem, and your absence would undoubtedly be a loss for all. Focus on your accomplishments, and keep in mind that you could have a bright future with underage drinkers on the bar mitzvah circuit.



Dear Sadie,

It requires every last bit of emotional energy I can summon to write this letter. For five straight years, I have waited….and waited…..and waited….for someone to find me, to care enough to look for me. The Rabinowitz children have searched for far lesser afikoman than I, usually taking no more than five minutes to locate them under an obviously protruding couch cushion. Yet I remain abandoned, forgotten about, wrapped up in a dirty napkin inside a telephone book, thrown into a corner of the garage years ago.

I wish I could say that what bothered me most is how Mr. Rabinowitz tells his children that I am worth a dollar. Some might call it a cliché but I promise you, Sadie, it is real. Middle matzah syndrome is an affliction. “Ohhh, look at the lower one, he’s going to make a great Korech sandwich! And that top matzah….who’s excited for hamoooootziiii?!?!” Me? The middle matzah. I’m just broken.

Should I keep hope alive or is it time to give up?

Joe Afikoman
Modiin, Israel

Dear Joe,

Look on the bright side. At least you’re not Manischewitz.


About the Author
Since making aliyah in 2006, Benji Lovitt has performed stand-up comedy and educational programs for groups including Jewish Federations, Chabads, synagogues, Masa Israel Journey, and Birthright Israel. His perspectives on aliyah and Israeli society have been featured on Israeli TV and radio and in publications such as USA Today, Time Magazine, the BBC, and more. Benji has worked as a cross-cultural trainer with groups including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Masa Israel and is a popular presenter on the Limmud International circuit. During 2014's Operation Protective Edge, his humorous observations on the war led to his being called in Israel "the only reason to go on Facebook.”